Chad Schofield is back from suspension and gets the support of some big guns on Sunday at Sha Tin including two rides for John Size and with Thewizardofoz and Dinozzo.
After a first season punctuated by suspensions, Schofield had started this term better and had ridden 19 winners before a running and handling charge saw the 23-year-old miss nearly all of March.
A refreshed Schofield returns with eight rides and although mostly outsiders in betting, his feature race rides do have a touch of quality about them.
“I’m happy with my book of rides, first day back after a long break so I am eager to get back out there and kick-off with a bang and I think I have some nice rides as well,” Schofield said.
“I’m particularity happy that Mr Size has put me on a couple of his quality horses and I hope I can get the job done for him.”
Those rides include Thewizardofoz, a one-time boom horse and 2014-15 Griffin of the Year that has never really lived up to expectations and suffered numerous setbacks in recent times.
Thewizardofoz was rated a 5.2 third favourite behind Chautauqua and Lucky Bubbles in last year’s Chairman’s Sprint Prize, but failed, before lameness and blood on trachea were to blame for a subpar effort in October’s Group Two Premier Bowl.
A break at Beas River and then a slow progression through four trials have the well bred sprinter ready for his return.
“I’ve never sat on him but I know him well from watching him and I know his reputation as a high class galloper,” Schofield said. “I’ve watched his trials leading up to this and they have all been good, his latest one in particular.”
Gate one ensures a soft run for a horse that will probably settle back off the speed.
“He isn’t the quickest away but he recovers well and I’ll be hoping to finish over the top of them late,” Schofield said.
On face value Dinozzo was disappointing when 11th in the BMW Hong Kong Derby but the 90-rated import endured a tough run and looks suited by a step up to 2,200m in a fascinating Class Two.
Schofield also rides Limitless for Peter Ho Leung in the Group Two Chairman’s Trophy, a horse that has his quirks, but undoubted ability and a lethal turn of foot.
“With cover he knows to relax, but the moment you pull him out he just wants to charge,” Schofield said. “He needs to chill out a bit, but gee he can run. When he won over 1,400m earlier in the season he ran three straight 22 second splits, that shows you he is talented, he just needs the race to fall into place for him.”